FIANNA FÁIL leader Micheál Martin has paid tribute to the late Seán French, whose funeral took place yesterday.
Mr French served as a TD for the party from 1967 to 1982. He was also a former lord mayor of Cork.
Mr French died at his home in St Luke’s, Summerhill, in the early hours of Christmas Day, aged 80.
Mr Martin said Mr French had made “an enormous contribution” to public life.
“He served the people of Cork as a councillor, as lord mayor of the city, and as a TD.
“Seán believed in public service and was proud to have been entrusted with those roles by the people,” Mr Martin said.
“I am deeply saddened by Seán’s passing.
“He was a respected, talented and committed person who worked hard for his local community, for Glen Rovers, and the people he represented.
“Indeed, my father canvassed for Seán during his political career and he was held in very high regard in our family.
“He was a loyal and trusted confidante of former Taoiseach Jack Lynch, with whom he represented Cork for many years.
“I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Seán’s wife Patsy and their family at this difficult time.”
Mr French was born in Cork in November 1931. His father, also Sean, represented Fianna Fáil in the Dáil from 1927 to 1932.
Mr French would follow in his footsteps, winning a by-election in the then Cork Borough constituency in 1967 and going on to serve in the Dáil for 15 years.
He also served as a member of Cork City Council and as Lord Mayor for from 1976 to 1977.
He served as treasurer of both Glen Rovers and the Cork County Basketball Board and also had a long association with the Blackpool Harrier Club.
Prior to politics, he had worked as a clerk in the National Flour Mills.
He is survived by his wife Patricia and children Rachael, Petronilla, Sean, Janice, Bernard, Cynthia and Patsy.
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